We need to perform well as a batting unit: Smith
South African captain Graeme Smith urged his batsmen to pull up their socks ahead of the crucial third and final Test match against India which will start at the Newlands, in Cape Town from Sunday.cricket Updated: Jan 01, 2011 19:41 IST
South African captain Graeme Smith urged his batsmen to pull up their socks ahead of the crucial third and final Test match against India which will start at the Newlands, in Cape Town from Sunday.
"Look, we were poor in Durban as a batting unit. We have had some good honest chats about that. As a batting unit we have been pretty successful, but in Durban we lost our minds a little bit. Hopefully we can gather our strength – the top six especially – for this Test," Smith told reporters on the eve of the third Test.
"Everyone has generally got good records here, and we have played well here in the past. It's a really strong ground for us. We are hoping to use all that and come out and put in a big performance," Smith said.
The skipper feels that toss won't be a big factor on the outcome of the match.
"Even in Durban, I don't think the toss was that crucial. It kept nipping around the whole game. Most Test wickets have something in the first session, and get better as the game goes on. It will be a good Test wicket."
The Proteas are obviously sulking after their 87-run defeat on bouncy Kingsmead strip where everyone thought that India won't have a chance.
"When you play on a wicket (Kingsmead) like that, the margin of error is small. We probably lacked a bit of tough discipline at times and making the little things count. In the end, we slightly let ourselves down. During key moments, we were not good enough, and India were better than us."
The skipper however doesn't have any complaints regarding his team's bowling.
"From bowler's point of view, we have kept India under 250 in three of the four innings, and if we can maintain that, and maybe get even tighter, we can keep them under a bit of pressure."
Although Smith didn't comment about some of the debatable decisions that went in India's favour but did admit that they would also need a slice of luck to turn the tables.
"I think it's fair to say that we lacked a bit of luck, but you make your own luck at times. As a team, it is hard to look at that as a factor for why you were beaten. You have got to be honest and look at the areas you can improve upon.
"The honesty around the team has been good. We realise we were not good enough in that game. After starting so well in Pretoria, it was disappointing. Still an opportunity to win the series, and that's what we want."
The southpaw feels that it's not only South Africa but India will also equally be under pressure going into the series decider.